Over £65 million of early stage funding was invested into the Cambridge technology and life sciences companies in 2012, with the Telecoms sector claiming a narrow victory over Software as the cluster's most investable industry sector.
While Software grabbed the largest share of the 24 confirmed investments for the year, it did so at an average of £3.5m per fundraising compared to the Telecom sector's £3.8m. This despite the largest single fundraising going to Software, a £16.8m deal for Bromium, the company that promises to revolutionise (in a very real sense) a flagging computer security industry and which has now raised over £23m.
The Biotechnology sector managed to claim a fifth of all the funding deals though the average deal size was just £1.4m, below the overall average size deal for Cambridge of £2.7m.
Biotech performed better in the final quarter of the year however with two big deals, ImmunoBiology’s £3m round in October and then £3.75m for Bicycle Therapeutics, the drug discovery company established by Sir Gregory Winter, founder of CAT and Domantis, which sold for £702m and £230m respectively. Electronics did even better though in Q4 with a healthy £5m investment into Amantys.
Research conducted by Cabume as part of its Cambridge Tech Quarter 2012 Review shows that angel and VC investment raised 50 per cent more than the cluster's publicly listed companies, the largest of which was Brady plc with £17.9m.
The figures relate to declared funding amounts. Further money was raised by Cambridge companies both in deals where the amounts invested were undisclosed – at least 12 such funding rounds – and other investments where all details were held back.
As for the angels, the individual investors may be reticent, but some of the syndicates are a little more open. It hasn't been possible to confirm all the deals, but at least 50 investments were made throughout the UK in a mixture of new and follow on funding.
The busiest group was Cambridge Angels with 19 investments, followed closely by Cambridge Capital Group whose 13 investments all went into Cambridge companies. Martlet closed 11 deals in 2012, in line with its aims, while Cambridge Enterprise backed six University born companies.
• Get the full 2012 Review here: www.cabume.co.uk/cambridge-technology-quarterly.html
Next week: M&A: Two companies's all-time Cambridge spend reaches $1.2 billion.